Our intestinal microflora lives on the first half-inch of our intestinal skin. This skin is miles long offering a huge amount of space for over 200 different species of microbes. These microbes react to exactly what we are thinking about, feeling and responding to, everything we eat and every environment we put ourselves in.
Our intestinal skin is the barrier between that which we consume (physically and mentally/ from the environment) and what becomes a part of us (what our body uses for energy, sustenance, and stores for later use). If our barrier becomes weak and unable to protect us from outsiders, we see symptoms of indigestion, Leaky Gut, Crohn’s disease, Candida and much more. Many of us are living with huge amounts of irritation in our gut causing our immune system to work over-time. This usually causes symptoms of inflammation – an underlying culprit for autoimmune diseases, colds, flu, brain fog, sleep, and elimination disturbances.. the list goes on!
Our digestive tract continues to evolve, but let’s not think that our bodily evolution is in stride with our current industrial society. A rise in the last 20 years concerning obesity and diabetes, as well as more recent intolerances like lactose and gluten, are all symptoms that are flourishing with no signs of deceleration. From toxicity in our soils, GMOs, pesticides, chemicals and medications in our drinking water (contaminant levels are determined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA) and flat out high costs for natural and organic foods… it’s no wonder why our bodies are reacting in negative ways. These environmental variables play an important role in our gut health. Our gut is THE place where decisions about our health are determined.
Are you living with pain and discomfort and think it’s “normal?” It’s not. And you can start to change how you feel on a daily basis.
Let’s look at our internal kiln
It’s Pitta’s firey and heating qualities that cook our food. If our digestive fire is low or completely put out, what we consume next is so important! For some, your digestion is like a rock! For years you have been able to push through, eat what you want and get away with it! For others (like myself) we need to be pickier about when we eat, but can consume most things. For most, you have started to remove major players like wheat, milk, cheese, and nightshades. Removing these options speaks to your symptoms and caring for the root of the problem is where our Ayurvedic tools come into play.
Here are 4 key tools that will assist you in healing and balancing your digestion.
Go to this website now! Lotus Blooming Herbs is an amazing company that provides top of the line herbal products. All herbs are resourced responsibly, certified organic and pesticide free. Chyawanprash has a paste-like consistency licked one spoonful at a time. It is an ancient combination of 25 herbs (dependent on formula) that support your digestive fire. Excess heat in our bodies – not always connected to our digestive fire – is a huge debilitating factor to our health as a whole (think inflammation, rashes, eczema), but Lotus Blooming Herb’s Chyawanprash is specifically formulated with this in mind.
2) Hot Water Routine
Many of us are continuously reaching for a cleanse to strip toxins and impurities that bog down our digestive tract. When this happens we also strip good microbes and disrupt the villi that live on our intestinal skin.
Sipping on hot water every 30 minutes throughout the day can have a massive effect on gently decreasing and moving along unwanted sludge and visitors. Stop after 6pm so you’re not waking up in the middle of the night to pee! Also great for weight loss!
Try adding whole spices like Fennel, cumin, and coriander. This combination is a diuretic and pulls out toxins when you urinate.
*Try a tablespoon of this blend from Banyan in a quart-sized thermos.
Warning: when you use a cleanse to clean your digestive tract you’re sending toxins back into the bloodstream to then be eliminated through the intestinal tract. If your digestive tract is not working at its fullest potential, these toxins will be recirculated back into the body and stored in your fat cells. Our brain is 60% fat. Hello, brain fog!
3) Peya – Rice Porridge
This is a recipe that is so easily digested and wonderfully filling. Good for anyone with inconsistent and loose elimination, recovering from being ill or working to rebuild and balance their digestion.
4 cups of water
1/4 cup White Basmati Rice (organic if possible)
Cook until rice resembling a porridge consistency. 1-2 hours should be enough. This recipe can be jazzed up – feel free to play around with spices.
Savory: bone broth, ginger, turmeric
Sweet: cardamom pods (do not eat), cinnamon, maple syrup or honey.
4) Stewed Apples
Apples can be hard on the digestion for those working to calm an unbalanced Vata. Cooking apples and adding spices, however, is an amazing way to ground Vata, increase appetite, and kindle our digestive fire! This is best eaten in the morning to break-your-fast!
1 cut and peeled apple
1-ish teaspoons of ghee
Cover the pot with an inch of water. Add apple and 2 cloves. Cover pot. Bring the heat to medium. Let apples boil for 10-ish minutes or until very soft. Discard the lovely cloves, add ghee and enjoy. If apples need more cooking, watch that the water does not evaporate -add more water.
Much love, Alexandra
The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, please connect with me. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.